Today we share Essay or Descriptive Questions with Answer on Constitution of India. Lets read Top 10 most important Constitution related Model Descriptive Question or Essay.
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Role of Judiciary in Indian Constitution
Question: Describe the role of Judiciary under the Indian Constitution. Is the Judiciary competent to examine the decision of the Parliament to expel its members from the House on charges of corruption?
Ans: While the power of the Parliament to legislate is supreme, at the same time the Judiciary has been made the watchdog of Indian democracy. As per the working of the Constitution for the past more than 60 years, a new role for the Judiciary has emerged. In view of various judgements of the apex court on amendments to the Constitution, the position today is that any amendment which aims at changing the basic structure of the Constitution would be unconstitutional. Hence, every proposed amendment is subject to judicial scrutiny if it is aimed at tinkering with the basic structure of the Constitution, which includes the federal system, parliamentary system, independence of judiciary, Fundamental Rights, etc. In addition, the Judiciary also has the right of judicial review. It implies that every piece of legislation passed by the Parliament is subject to judicial scrutiny by the Supreme Court. No specific provisions exist for this arrangement, but it is as per the law which has emerged through various judgements of the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court, thus, has the power to strike down any piece of legislation aimed at amending the Indian Constitution on two grounds. Firstly, if the procedure prescribed under Article 368 is not followed and, secondly, if the amending Act seeks to violate one or more basic features of the Constitution.
In addition to the above, the apex court of the country has also assumed additional duties under a new concept called ‘Public Interest Litigation’ (PIL), under which any citizen can bring any matter of general importance to the general public for consideration of the Supreme Court. In case the apex court finds that the executive has been wanting in due discharge of its duties, it passes the required directions to the concerned authorities in government.
But there is still some conflict about the supremacy of the Parliament vis-à-vis authority of the Judiciary in general and the Supreme Court in particular. This conflict emerged in 2006 when the Parliament took a decision to unseat ten Members of Parliament who were exposed by the electronic media accepting bribe. The Parliament, under the directions of the Speaker, considered the report of a Parliamentary Committee appointed by the Speaker to inquire in to the episode and decided to unseat the members involved in this bribery incident.
It was a bold step by the Parliament to salvage its reputation and to show to the country that all the Members of Parliament were not corrupt and all the guilty were punished by an exemplary expulsion, though no specific provision exists in the parliamentary procedures to support this action. Some sort of constitutional crisis surfaced when the Judiciary decided to take cognizance of this action of the Speaker and issued notice to the Speaker to file his reply on the writ petition filed by the expelled MPs.
View of the Speaker was that it is an internal matter of the Parliament and there can be no interference of the Judiciary in its proceedings in any manner. The Parliament feels that cognizance by the Judiciary is not warranted in this case as the Speaker has final power to interpret the rules and procedures of the Parliament, and under Article 122, Speaker’s conduct in regulating the procedure or maintaining order in the House is not subject to jurisdiction of any court. The Parliament also feels that this act of the Judiciary is an interference with the supremacy of Parliament. [You are reading Indian Constitution related Essay & Descriptive Questions]
Secularism in Indian Constitution
Question: Write a detailed note on secularism as provided in Indian Constitution. What are the threats to Indian Secularism?
Ans: The Preamble of Indian Constitution describes India as a ‘sovereign socialist secular democratic republic’, and the words ‘socialist’ and ‘secular’ were added by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment. The word ‘secular’, though was specifically added in the Preamble in the year 1976, yet the original spirit of the Constitution was completely secular in nature. Its insertion into the Preamble has ensured that secularism has now become a source from which the constitutional provisions on secularism draw their authority and it has now become the central object which the Constitution seeks to establish. It is also one of the basic structures of our Constitution and no compromise can be made on this by any government.
Unity and fraternity among the people of India is sought to be achieved by enshrining the ideal of a secular State in India. It implies that the State protects all the religions equally and there is no religion which can be termed as the State religion. The liberty of belief, faith and worship provided for in the Preamble is sought to be achieved by the fundamental right of freedom of religion under Articles 25 to 29 of the Constitution, dealing with freedom of conscience, free profession, practice and propagation of religion by every citizen.
The State is supposed to have an attitude of neutrality and partiality towards all religions. No taxes can be imposed by the State for promotion or maintenance of any religion and no religious education can be imparted in any educational institution wholly funded by the State. Partially State funded schools and educational institutions are allowed to impart religious education only after the consent of the student or his guardian. Such an instruction cannot be imposed on anyone without one’s consent.
Further, every person is free to profess, practice and propagate his religion, subject to some reasonable restrictions imposed by the State in the interest of public order, morality and health. Every religious group is allowed to establish and maintain the institutions of religious and charitable nature and manage its affairs in the matters of religion. Such institutions can also own and acquire moveable and immoveable property.
It may be observed that the scheme of secularism as provided in the Indian Constitution is highly progressive. The scope of these provisions has been widened further by various pronouncements of the Supreme Court of India. Even the rituals and observances which are integral to any faith are allowed to be practiced. The religion has been regarded as a doctrine of personal belief and the State regulations cannot interfere with the things which are essentially religious.
But there have been certain serious threats to Indian secularism. The fundamentalist forces of various religions occasionally tend to overstep the constitutional provisions. Communal acts by some of the political outfits in the country have continued to threaten the very ideal of secularism. Efforts on part of the politicians to divide people on communal lines are a very dangerous trend and if not checked at this stage, may create serious problems at a later stage.
The communal demands like reservations to the religious minorities and proportional representation on the religious lines are matters of serious concern. The controversy on the uniform civil code for all citizens as provided in Article 44 of the Constitution has also resulted in communal talk by various political parties.[You are reading Indian Constitution related Essay & Descriptive Questions]
Religious Freedom and Equality
Question: What are the provisions relating to religious freedom and equality in the Indian political system? Does the Indian Constitution specifically bar the conversion of people to other religions? Do the Hindu converts from Scheduled Caste community have the right to claim the benefits for Hindus under the Constitution?
Ans: The Preamble of the Indian Constitution proclaims India as a secular country. The Indian secularism is based on the principle that there is no religion of the State and every citizen is free to practice any religion or propagate it.
There are several provisions in the Fundamental Rights that aim at attaining secularism in the country. Articles 25 to 28 of the Constitution specifically lay down that the Indian State observes an attitude of neutrality and impartiality towards all religions. No taxes can be imposed for practising or promoting any particular religion. Further, it also provides that no religious instruction shall be provided in any educational institution wholly funded by the State. Every citizen has the right to profess, practise and propagate his own religion. All religious groups also possess the rights to establish the institutions for religious and charitable purpose, manage own affairs in the matters of religion, own and acquire property and administer such property in accordance with law.
Article 15 of the Constitution provides that there cannot be any discrimination on the grounds of religion, caste, race, sex etc. Similarly, Article 16 of the Constitution puts every citizen on equal footing.
A question generally asked is whether the Constitution of the country specifically bars the conversions to another religion. The legal position is that every one has the right to practise and propagate any religion. This means that the propagating person can bring out the merits of his religion to the notice of others and if others are convinced, they can decide to switch over to that particular religion voluntarily. No one can, however, be forcibly converted to another religion.
A question is raised at times about the claims to the reservation benefits by the erstwhile Hindus from Scheduled Caste community, converted to Christianity, Buddhism or Islam. The Constitution recognizes the Scheduled Castes only in two religious communities viz. Hindus and Sikhs, as the caste system was traditionally prevalent only in these two religions. Casteism is not practised in the religions like Christianity, Buddhism and Islam. Scheduled Caste Order of 1950, framed under the Constitution lays down that a person shall not be deemed to be a Scheduled Caste if he professes a religion other than Hinduism or Sikhism. Allowing such benefits to the converts by the government would make it an abettor of conversion, thereby violating the constitutional scheme of secularism.
At the same time, if any convert falls under the category of Other Backward Classes (OBC), he could be entitled to the social and other privileges otherwise admissible to such people as per the constitutional provisions.[You are reading Indian Constitution related Essay & Descriptive Questions]
Independence of Supreme Court Judges
Question: Write a brief note on the independence of the Supreme Court Judges and their position. How can a judge of the Supreme Court be removed before the expiry of his term?
Ans: The Constitution of India provides for independence of Judiciary. The aim is to ensure that the judicial system works free from the influence of the legislature and the executive. It was believed by the framers of the Constitution that unless specific provisions were made to make the judicial system independent, the citizens could not be assured of unbiased dispensation of justice.
There are several provisions that take care of this aspect. Firstly, the President who appoints the judges of the Supreme Court has no authority to remove them from office. Even their appointment has to be approved by the President after consulting the Chief Justice of India. Further, the pay and allowances of the judges cannot be reduced to their disadvantage during their term by the Parliament and the entire expenditure on account of the pay and allowances shall be charged to the Consolidated Fund of India, rather than voted. The judges of the Supreme Court are prohibited by the Constitution from practicing in any court of law after their retirement. There are similar provisions for the High Court judges also.
Position: Many people believe that the position of the judges of the Supreme Court is in no manner inferior to that of the judges of the highest courts of law in the other countries of the world, including those in the developed countries. Their powers are wide and they enjoy freedom from any external influence, particularly in their service matters and day to day working. Supreme Court is not only the Federal Court of Indian Union but is also the guardian of the Constitution and the highest Court of Appeal. The pronouncements of the Supreme Court are binding on all the courts of the country. Further, the pronouncements made in the constitutional matters have the status of law and are binding on the Union and the State governments.
The Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts can be removed only by way of a special procedure prescribed in the Constitution, commonly called the impeachment.
As per the procedure prescribed under Article 124(4) and the Judges Inquiry Act of 1968, the process of impeachment can only be initiated if 100 Members of Lok Sabha or 50 Members of the Rajya Sabha deliver a motion addressed to the President of India, through either the Speaker of Lok Sabha or the Chairperson of Rajya Sabha. After such motion has been received in either of the Houses of the Parliament, it is required to be investigated by a Committee of three i.e. two judges of the Supreme Court and one eminent jurist. If this Committee finds the judge guilty of misbehaviour or that he suffers from incapacity, the report of the Committee is then submitted to the House in which the motion of impeachment is pending for consideration.
The Parliament then considers the motion along with the report of the Committee in detail. If the motion is passed in each of the House by the majority of the total membership of the House and the majority of not less than two-third of that House present and voting, the address is then presented before the President of India. It is only after the President of India passes an order of removal of the judge concerned that the judge is removed from his office.[You are reading Indian Constitution related Essay & Descriptive Questions]
Review of the Constitution
Question: “The working of our Constitution over the years has exposed various weaknesses of the Indian political system and a comprehensive review of the Constitution is necessary.” Do you agree? Give arguments.
Ans: Immediately after independence, the Constituent Assembly and its Drafting Committee prepared and adopted the Indian Constitution, which with some changes over the years, has been continuing.
Last about six decades of working of the Constitution has exposed certain weaknesses of the Indian political system. At times it is felt by many that a comprehensive review of the Indian Constitution must be carried out to tackle the weaknesses. One of the major weaknesses is that the multi-party system has given scope for so-called ‘horse trading’, which could not be stopped even by the constitutional amendment facilitating the enactment of the Anti-defection Act. Further, it has resulted in evolution of coalition culture, which has increased the political instability of the government.
Further, considering the present-day overlaps resulted by the legislative and judicial activism, there has to be a clear demarcation of the boundaries of jurisdiction of the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. Several people feel that with a view to have strong executive at the national and State levels, the present system of Parliamentary democracy must be replaced by the Presidential form of government where the President (Head of the State) is directly elected by the people, who also becomes the functional head of the State as well as that of the government.
In addition, the empowerment of the States with the overall aim of strengthening the Indian federation is another area on which many political thinkers are unanimous. It is believed that the Indian federal system must also be as close as possible to the US system, so that the regional aspirations of the people are met. It is also felt by many that it is high time that the protection available to the public servants under Article 310 of the Constitution is done away with, so that work culture is inculcated among the government employees.
With a view to strengthen the Constitution, most of the above amendments are necessary. But one has to keep in mind and ensure that none of the proposed amendments actually violate Supreme Court Judgments about the ‘basic structure’ of the Constitution. For effecting the change beyond the basic structure, it would perhaps require the prior approval of the Supreme Court and the process may have to be undertaken under the close scrutiny of the apex court.[You are reading Indian Constitution related Essay & Descriptive Questions]
Article 16 of Indian Constitution
Question: “Article 16 of the Constitution of India is a bundle of contradictions, as on the one hand it deals with equality of opportunity in matters of public employment, and, on the other, it enables the government to provide for reservation in public employment.” Comment.
Ans: Article 16 of the Constitution is part of the Fundamental Rights and provides for equality in the matters of employment in public employment. Many people feel that this Article, instead of equality in these matters, perpetuates the inequalities and offers a framework of contradiction. The Fundamental Rights should ideally provide the measures vide which the equality is ensured but the exceptions provided to this right overweigh the right provided.Article 16 provides that there shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in the matters of employment or appointment to any office under the State. This Article also provides that no citizen shall be ineligible for any office or employment under the State on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth or any of them. After having stated the above, several exceptions are also provided for. Place of residence may be laid down by the legislature as a condition for particular classes of employment or appointment in any State or any local authority. Further, the State may reserve any post or appointment in favour of any backward class of citizens, who, in the opinion of the State, are not adequately represented in the services under that State. In addition, the offices connected with the religious or denominated institutions may be reserved for the members practicing that particular religion.
The most important and controversial exception pertains to the provisions of Article 16(4) relating to the claims of the members of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities in the matters of appointment to the services and posts under the Union and the States, to be consistent with efficiency in administration as far as possible (Article 335). The Supreme Court has held that while the provisions of Article 16(4) are without any limitation upon the power of reservation, yet it has to be read with the provisions of Article 335 for maintenance of efficiency in administration. The Apex Court also held that the total reservation under Article 16(4) should not exceed 50 per cent.
Detailed study of the provisions of the Article 16 reveals that while originally this Article aimed at protecting the rights of common man with regard to equality of opportunity but gradually, due to the need felt by the government to extend the benefit of reservation to the other backward classes and also the political considerations, its focus has now shifted to providing the benefit of reservation to the backward classes and the SC/ST. But one thing has been confirmed that the extension of the benefit cannot be arbitrary.
Various pronouncements of the Supreme Court of India during the past almost six decades have plugged the gaps in the provisions of this Article and also provided a standard framework for extending the benefit of reservation in future to any other categories. The measures that looked to be controversial initially have also been settled by the judgments of the highest court of law in the country.[You are reading Indian Constitution related Essay & Descriptive Questions]
Question: What are the important provisions relating to the Election Commission in the Indian Constitution? How can the Election Commissioners be removed?
Ans: The Indian Constitution provides that there shall be an office of the Election Commission of India which shall be responsible for conducting free and fair elections to the offices of the President, Vice President, the Parliament and the State Legislative Assemblies under Articles 54 and 66.
The Election Commission consists of a Chief Election Commissioner and such other Commissioners as the President of India may from time to time decide. In the initial years, there used to be only a Chief Election Commissioner. But in October 1989, the Election Commission of India was made a multi-member. But in 1990, it was again made a single-member. Commission. The position was changed once again in 1993 and since then the Commission continues to be a multi-member Commission.
The Election Commission has the powers of superintendence, direction, control and conduct of all elections mentioned above. It may be noted that the elections to the local bodies are conducted by the State Election Commissioners appointed under Article 243K by the States.
The Constitution of India provides for a set procedure for removal of the Election Commissioners, making this body absolutely independent of the legislative and executive control. It is provided that an Election Commissioner cannot be removed from his office except in the manner and on the grounds on which a Judge of the Supreme Court can be removed. In other words, an Election Commissioner can be removed from the office only on proven grounds of incapacity or misbehaviour.
Under such circumstances the procedure starts only after a motion addressed to the President signed by at least 100 Members of Lok Sabha or 50 Members of Rajya Sabha is delivered to the Speaker or the Chairman of the concerned House. It is also clear that the Chief Election Commissioner has no role to play in the removal or appointment of any Election Commissioner. With these provisions, the Constitution provides that the Election Commissioners are to be kept out of the influence of the legislature or the executive so that they work in a non-partisan and independent manner.[You are reading Indian Constitution related Essay & Descriptive Questions]
Dissolution, Prorogation and Adjournment
Question: Differentiate between dissolution, prorogation and adjournment of the House.
Ans: Dissolution, Prorogation and Adjournment: When the Parliament is in session, there are daily sittings of the Houses concerned and the sittings can be terminated either by dissolution, prorogation or by adjournment. As per the provisions of Indian Constitution, Rajya Sabha (Council of States) is a permanent House and cannot be dissolved. Lok Sabha (House of People) however can be dissolved. Dissolution brings an end to the term of the House. House of People can be dissolved by the President on the advice of the Council of Ministers either on expiry of its usual term of five years or by the exercise of President’s powers under Article 85 (2) of the Constitution.
While dissolution marks the end of life of the House, prorogation is just the termination of a session of a House. On completion of a particular session of the Parliament, which may last a specified or pre-determined period, the House is announced to be prorogued by the Speaker/Chairperson as per the directives of the President and the President of India acts as per the advice of the Council of Ministers in this regard. The effect of prorogation is that pending notices, motions and resolutions lapse with the prorogation of the House but the pending Bills remain unaffected.
Adjournment of a House is merely end of the session for short duration or for the day or the week during an ongoing session. Adjournment thus merely postpones the further transaction of business for a specified period of time, hours, days or weeks during the ongoing session. Adjournment has no effect on pending resolutions, motions, notices and Bills.[You are reading Indian Constitution related Essay & Descriptive Questions]
Fundamental Rights Vs Other Rights
Question: What is the difference between the Fundamental Rights and the rights secured under various other provisions of the Constitution?
Ans: Part III of the Indian Constitution (Articles 13 to 32) contains one of the most important parts of Indian Constitution—the Fundamental Rights. These rights are fundamental in nature and no legislative or executive order or action of the government can take away any of these rights of the citizens in India. An important feature of these rights is that these are enforceable by law and any piece of legislation can be declared void if it is found to be interfering with any of Fundamental Rights. There are, however, some other rights provided in the Constitution, which are outside Part III. These other rights can also be enforced by following due course of law. One of the examples is Article 365, which provides that no tax can be levied or collected by the State except by the authority of law. There are various other such rights and the Right to Property, which was a Fundamental Right under the original Constitution, has also been relegated to the position of a legal right.
A question is often asked about the difference between the Fundamental Rights and other rights under the Constitution, particularly when both the categories are justice-able. Main difference is that while all the rights of the citizens are enforceable by law, Fundamental Rights provide for a Constitutional remedy under Article 32 which itself is provided in Part III, i.e. the Fundamental Rights. Under the Constitutional remedy an individual can move an application direct to the Supreme Court of India against any infringement of his Fundamental Right by the State or any act of the State. In case of other rights a citizen may have to seek remedy by filing an ordinary application or suit before a lower/subordinate court, as per provisions of law.[You are reading Indian Constitution related Essay & Descriptive Questions]
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